Over the past decade the cloud has delivered new capabilities, and accelerated innovation for Australian governments and public sector agencies, helping them improve services for citizens around the country. Today, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is delighted to announce we have renewed and enhanced our Whole-of-Government Agreement with the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), which is designed to continue to support innovation and digital transformation by streamlining purchasing processes for agencies and providing more opportunities to AWS Partners to work with government customers.
In 2019, AWS and DTA signed an agreement to enable Australian Federal, State, and Territory agencies and departments, as well as public universities and government-controlled corporations to access AWS Cloud services through a simple contracting model. This centralised agreement lets agencies save costs from the day they sign up, due to the economies of scale achieved from the aggregated procurement agreement. Customers can use it to leverage more than 200 fully-featured AWS Cloud services, including AWS’s industry-leading security capabilities and world-class global cloud infrastructure, to drive innovation and cost savings in delivering advanced citizen services.
Under the enhanced agreement, which will start on May 1, 2022, AWS’s public sector customers continue to receive the benefits of the Whole-of Government Agreement via the DTA, or they can choose to purchase directly from AWS or through authorised partners on the AWS Partner Network. This will ensure our public sector customers in Australia will maintain easy access to our reliable and secure cloud services as well as provide greater choice in how they procure them.
The AWS Partner Network includes many Australian-owned technology businesses such as NEXTGEN, Shine Solutions, and Versent, as well as global system integrators like PwC and Accenture, who work closely with Australian public sector customers, including federal and state government agencies, to deliver digital services for citizens. Public sector customers can leverage the full benefits of working with AWS Partners, who have AWS specialist skills and capabilities, in a simple and intuitive commercial and procurement model. By working with AWS Partners, the government will further strengthen the development of Australia’s technology capabilities and help to accelerate the digitisation of citizen services.
Enabling better outcomes for citizens
AWS has worked hard on the smooth delivery and operation of many important digital government initiatives in Australia. Every month, our local infrastructure is used by hundreds of thousands of active customers. These include large public sector organisations such as the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), along with Australia’s leading companies such as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the National Bank of Australia (NAB), nib insurance, Origin Energy, Telstra, Qantas, and Woodside Energy.
Through the Whole-of-Government Agreement, AWS provided the foundation for the successful collection of data for the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the 2021 Census of Population. AWS worked with partner PwC to deliver the Census Digital Service, providing professional services, training and marketplace services. As a result, the ABS easily handled the workload generated by the 2.5 million people who submitted their forms in a 24-hour period on Census Day,.
Geoscience Australia (GA) is another public sector agency which has engaged with AWS since 2015 to provide scalable and proven cloud services. Working together, we’ve advanced key science program initiatives such as the establishment and delivery of Digital Earth Australia, and Digital Earth Africa capabilities, alongside National Earthquake Alert Centre and Exploring for the Future government initiatives. Access and use of AWS technology has also improved digital delivery methods and provided ongoing value for digital uplift and modernisation across Geoscience Australia.
Another public sector collaboration facilitated through the Whole-of-Government Agreement has taken place with Western Australia’s Curtin University. Together, we are creating a new digital platform foundation that will enable automated IT management, provide new digital services for innovation projects, and allow for data-driven decisions across the university’s services. As part of the collaboration, Curtin has launched an AWS Skills Guild, called ElevateU. This will equip more than 200 employees with the skills necessary to accelerate the move to the cloud and deliver new on-campus experiences, leveraging AWS data analytics and machine learning technology.
Full support for accelerated public sector innovation
We understand the demands of delivering essential government services and have a dedicated AWS Public Sector team of specialised local employees across Australia working to drive innovation on behalf of our customers and AWS Partners.
Through the renewed agreement, our public sector customers in Australia will continue to enjoy coordinated access to AWS Enterprise Support for close guidance and best practices, and have access to AWS Professional Services for agencies that need more guidance on complex projects. They will also enjoy support delivered through the extensive network of locally-owned cloud software and service vendors from the AWS Partner Network.
AWS Enterprise Support offers customers 24x7 technical support from highly-skilled engineers who provide consultative architectural guidance. These AWS engineers are part of Amazon’s Australian local workforce, which includes more than 5,000 people across Australia. Since 2011, Amazon has invested over $5.3 billion across all its businesses in Australia.
As part of the agreement, AWS will be working with DTA, and the Australian Public Service Commission, to uplift digital capability across government through a comprehensive cloud training program.
Continuing to meet the highest security standards
We are highly sensitive to the security needs of our customers in every location in which we operate. Our customers own their data, control its location, and who has access to it. AWS has provided world-class infrastructure to customers in Australia, including on-shore data centres since 2012 for customers with data residency preferences, and is certified as a Strategic Hosting Provider in the Australian Government’s Hosting Certification Framework (HCF). AWS makes available a full range of security protections, tools, and services to the Australian Government and our local customers. As of December 2021, 125 AWS Cloud services available in the AWS Sydney Region have been assessed by the Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) for operating workloads at the PROTECTED level, the highest Australian Government data classification attainable for public cloud services.
In addition, AWS supports more security standards and compliance certifications than any other cloud offering, and provides services to millions of active customers around the world including financial services providers, healthcare providers, and government agencies, who trust us to secure and protect their most sensitive information.
Building a better future for citizens
This enhanced Whole-of-Government Agreement represents AWS’s deep long-term commitment to Australia and our ability to innovate and improve based on feedback from our partners and customers. We are looking forward to continuing to support the government in its digital initiatives, drive local economic growth, and solve some of the biggest challenges in society.